Don Cherry is one of those musicians who never reached the status of the jazz giants, because his trumpet technique was too limited for that, but his musical vision was so broad, adventurous and unique, that he inspired many musicians, leading to a little more than a handfull of tribute albums. He was furthermore a very nice and joyful person, and especially this joy of life shines through many of his compositions. This album is by Michael Lewis on sax, Adam Linz on bass and TJ Bates on drums, with Greg Lewis joining on trumpet on some tracks and with vocals by Debbie Duncan, Carei Thomas and James Piers on some other tracks. Next to Cherry classics such as "Guinea", "Art Deco", "The Thing" and "Bamako Love", the band adds some of their own compositions. The music is fun, as could be expected, respectful and nice, though not very adventurous, and at moments a little bit bland, especially on the vocal tracks. They play the music of Don Cherry, they don't expand on it, or add to it. Interesting for collectors of Don Cherry tributes. The most important thing is that Cherry's musical vision has been instrumental in many of today's world jazz, and he has also opened new avenues for accessible yet very open free jazz.
Here are some more tributes to Don Cherry (ranked according to my appreciation) :
- Ya-Sou - Tribute To Don Cherry (with Tomasz Stanko)
- Berger/Knutsson/Spering - See You In A Minute (with Eagle Eye & Neneh Cherry)
- The Thing - Crazy Wisdom
- Tiziano Tononi - Awake Nu - A Tribute To Don Cherry (with Herb Robertson)
- New York Jazz Collective - I Don't Know This World Without Don Cherry (with Baikida Carroll, Marty Ehrlich, Michael Formanek, ... too mainstream to my taste)
- Lennart Aberg & Peter Erskine - Free Spirit - A Tribute To Don Cherry (with Palle Mikkelborg + big band)
Suggestions are welcome for other tribute albums to Don Cherry.